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Old November 1st, 2008, 06:00 AM   #1
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Anyone been to India ...

I have a question! I'm may be need of a fast visa to India but ... I'll be taking minimal gear and may be able to fake the tourist bit ... anyone have any experience on this?
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Old November 1st, 2008, 06:04 AM   #2
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Off to India ...

Anyone with any experience taking gear there and dealing with the visa question ... anyone?
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Old November 1st, 2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Flew into Delhi from Canada four years ago and then to Mumbai and Trivendrum (hope I spelled that right) internally with ZERO problems other than someone decided to help themselves to my Leatherman packed in my checked luggage. The only reason I BROUGHT checked luggage was to bring my Leatherman. We traveled with a Sony Z1U and all the fixings but no tripod. Bought a photo tripod when we got there to avoid the hassles of bringing multiple bags.

If you haven't traveled internationally much, watch the locals when you get there for procedures. For example, your luggage (at least where I was) is screened AS SOON AS YOU GET to the airport and NOT when you get your boarding pass. I walked right past the security kiosk inadvertently and couldn't get my boarding pass after waiting in line for 2 hours until I went back and had my bag checked.

As well, the caste system seems to be alive and well: people will walk directly to the front of any line without rhyme or reason. Don't get upset. "When in Rome..."

Of all my international trips, clearing customs et al in India was probably the EASIEST trip I've been on. Good luck and have fun!
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Old November 1st, 2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dean Harrington View Post
Anyone with any experience taking gear there and dealing with the visa question ... anyone?
Depending on how much and what gear you're taking, you might want to check with the Indian Consulate on the customs duty requirements. Don't know about India but some countries require a surety bond or deposit with customs when you take professional gear with you to insure its re-export. You can sometimes avoid that by obtaining an ATA Carnet covering your gear before you travel but I don't think India accepts Carnets for film/video equipment.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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Hi Dean.................

Doesn't sound like a very Japanese name so will assume you're not travelling on a Japanese passport?

You name the passport, maybe I can help with the visa thing.

As Steve said - what gear and how much and for how long?

Where to?

When?

A couple of details would work wonders.


CS
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Old November 1st, 2008, 05:34 PM   #6
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Humm ...

No one has been there on the forum?
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Old November 1st, 2008, 05:49 PM   #7
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Next March, can you hang about till then :) You'll have much more tourist type success with a smaller cam.

Cheers.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 05:52 PM   #8
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Old November 1st, 2008, 06:51 PM   #9
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I have several friends that have been to India on shoots and I've spent a lot of time researching similar issues in that region. What are you trying to figure out exactly?
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Old November 1st, 2008, 11:48 PM   #10
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Travelled to New Delhi, Bombay, Goa and points south

Hi, for what it's worth, I took my Canon XL-1S in a fairly large Petrol case (hand-carryable size, though) but no pro tripod. Instead I bought a nice Manfrotto-Bogen but small still camera tripod which I stuck into one duffle-bag type of suit case. This is important as sometimes there's no avoiding using a tripod, but it's a site-specific permission issue in most cases.

Visa was a tourist type. Had no problems whatsoever with any customs authorities. There are some restrictions on whether you can shoot video in some sites, but for others you have to haggle with and eventually pay an extra fee and/or slip bribe money to the gate-keepers to use video gear. Sometimes you have to promise not to record any sound, and going through the motion is disconnecting or removing any mics on your camera, something you can simply ignore once you're inside the site.

Ditto for Nepal as well.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 01:19 AM   #11
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Travelled to India last December on tourist visa. Entered via Delhi with Miller Tripod DS10 with solo legs checked in. Canon XLH1 boken down, including batteries and tapes, in soft bag as hand luggage. All other bits including PAG light and a long len's distributed in my wifes and my checked in luggage. No problems at all. Travelled internally on trains.

Regards

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Old November 2nd, 2008, 01:40 AM   #12
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thanks to all ...

I maybe off ... this is still up in the air and I'm supposed to go next week ... crazy producer. I will take a small footprint camera ... sounds cables, mics, sound mixer, led panel lights and mainly was worried about having enough time to get the visa and then what type to get. Tourist sounds OK and still up in the air on how long it will take to actually get the visa. Here in Japan, we can get the visa at the embassy ... and no, I'm not Japanese ... US passport.

Last edited by Dean Harrington; November 2nd, 2008 at 02:42 AM.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 01:53 AM   #13
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I'm in India

I'm here in India right now...but I came from the US on a tourist Visa.
Brought my HVR-V1U and all the accessories, Canon DSLR + lenses, and pro tripod
Did not have any problems...so far so good! Just told the people at customs that I was not a professional (which I'm not) and that is was church related and they said no problem. The only time I had to take all my gear out was in my hometown airport!

Hope this helps

Jason
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 03:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Boyette View Post
I'm here in India right now...but I came from the US on a tourist Visa. Brought my HVR-V1U and all the accessories, Canon DSLR + lenses, and pro tripod Did not have any problems...so far so good! Just told the people at customs that I was not a professional (which I'm not)
I've been traveling to India and all of Asia with video equipment since 1984 -- just about every year. Last time with a Sony V1. I carry the video camera in a cheap bag through the visa/passport line just like any tourist. No one ever looks in this bag -- at least for the least 15 years. I also carry a laptop (a MBP) in a cheap bag. No one looks at it either. I can usually cram a still camera or mic in these bags.

All checked baggage goes through X-rays BEFORE you get it. However, I toss batteries and misc in this suitcase. Last time I had a lightweight tripod in the bag

After picking-up all your bags just walk toward the Green channel and give the person the customs form you filled-out on the plane. Don't need to write anything about your gear if you are a "tourist!"

If they ask do you have anything to declare just say no and keep walking. (I always go through with a crowd and look like I know where i'm going -- eyes looking ahead for people who are waiting for me.

Even in the `80's all they did was write the camera and VTR serial numbers in your passport and check that you left with them.

Now if you have cases with lighting and sound equipment -- you may not get through as easily. :(

PS: when I want to see how things are going, I look for a "Sony World" and ask if I can connect an HDMI cable to one of the many Bravia's on display. HDMI is nice cause you get audio! But, now everyone I know has the latest plasma or LCD HDTVs so I can work at their house. (DVD and TVs all play NTSC so you can burn DVDs along the way.)

Blu-ray is big in some areas. (Sony World stores have BD players.) A friend bought a 50" Sharp HDTV and they threw in a Sharp BD player. I just bought a new VAIO with BD burner so I can create disks as I travel.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 03:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Harrington View Post
I maybe off ... this is still up in the air and I'm supposed to go next week ... crazy producer. I will take a small footprint camera ... sounds cables, mics, sound mixer, led panel lights and mainly was worried about having enough time to get the visa and then what type to get. Tourist sounds OK and still up in the air on how long it will take to actually get the visa. Here in Japan, we can get the visa at the embassy ... and no, I'm not Japanese ... US passport.
Trying to get by as a tourist with that much gear sounds risky to me. See if you can get the production company to assume responsibility for getting the equipment to the locations - arranging shipping and customs clearance as freight shipped ahead rather than having you try to take it as checked baggage. Given some of the horror stories that are emerging lately, as well as airlines starting to charge a king's ransom for any checked baggage at all (much less excess baggage), a lot of people are turning to FedEx and the like to move their gear rather than even trying to check it.
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